We decided to stand candidates for all posts. We would state our arguments for why we suited the post in our statements, but would use our speeches to give voice to the factionalism in our CLP. For the first time in a while we could say how we felt without being silenced.
Our speeches would be an opportunity for the left to articulate the experience of being in Holborn & St Pancras CLP, controlled by a right-wing anti-Corbyn faction endorsed by Keir Starmer.Holborn Left
At the end a member who is loosely tied to the right-wing faction commented on how he could have predicted how every vote would go before it happened. He had listened to us and taken on board what we said. Only time will tell whether others have too.
Paul Renny was stood for Treasurer. He was not elected to the post. Paul Renny has been a Trade Union Activist and Labour Party member since his early 20s, though he left the Labour Party after the Iraq War and rejoined when Corbyn became leader. He is a working-class voice on our GC. Here is his speech.
“I am an Officer of Highgate and a Unison delegate, trade unionist and an elected Unison Convenor. I have extensive experience of dealing with finances within the Trade Union movement. I would challenge any unnecessary overspending of members’ money and would seek the best quotes for any works undertaken for the CLP. As treasurer I would attempt to make funds available to enable the CLP to take up its full delegation at conferences. I would also ask that any members who donate money to our MP to attend Conference, think about helping ordinary members attend conference instead.
When I attended my first GC in 2016, two of the leading members of this CLP attacked the Party Leader Corbyn in a most sectarian and abusive way. This carried on in meetings, in the local press and social media and included the exclusion of and hostility towards the left members of the CLP who supported the National Leadership or who had valid critisms of Council Policy.
I am unity candidate but I will not have lectures from members who have acted in a sectarian way, spending 5 years attacking the Labour Leadership, the left, generally and deliberately damaging Labour’s electoral fortunes.
We need look outside our London bubble.
Finally, as an officer I would be campaigning and voting for the first woman Leader of the Party Rebecca Long-Bailey; (ran out of time) a new generation, socialist voice from the North who is committed to radical policies.”